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Town of Vail, Children’s Garden of Learning Continue to Work Towards Enhancing Early Childhood Education and Housing Options in Vail

  • 26 June 2020
Town of Vail, Children’s Garden of Learning Continue to Work Towards Enhancing Early Childhood Education and Housing Options in Vail

Building on a three decades long partnership, the Town of Vail and Children’s Garden of Learning are pleased to confirm substantial progress in moving towards identifying a new location for CGL as the town continues to fulfill various community goals, including increasing the number of resident-occupied, deed-restricted homes in Vail. 

CGL’s current location, which occupies a 2.07-acre town-owned site adjacent to the existing Middle Creek at Vail Apartments, has been identified by the Vail Town Council as one of only a few town-owned parcels ideally suited for future deed-restricted homes, which is of particular importance as the town negotiates alternative housing sites with Vail Resorts and Triumph Development.

In a parallel effort, the town continues to work with the U.S. Forest Service on a wildlife habitat improvement plan following the earlier approval of the Booth Heights housing development in East Vail. A memorandum of understanding is currently being drafted between the town, Triumph Development and Vail Resorts and will be presented for public review on July 7 followed by opportunities for public comment on July 21. The memorandum of understanding will include a timeline for implementation of the innovative partnership that creates an alternate housing site to the Booth Heights development and improves and protects wildlife habitat in East Vail.

In order to facilitate this alternative to Booth Heights, a high-quality new home for the Children’s Garden of Learning will be developed in partnership with the town.  The town and CGL agree that the most likely site of CGL’s new home is within a renovated Vail Gymnastics Center, located down the street from CGL’s current location. The proposed renovations will create a new third floor on the Vail Gymnastics Center. 

Although CGL has raised some concerns with respect to the design of the Vail Gymnastics Center, both the town and CGL are confident these concerns can be resolved, and CGL is excited to embrace the Vail Gymnastics Center as its new home.

While the Vail Gymnastics Center represents the most likely option for CGL to remain in Vail, both the town and CGL recognize the Gymnastics Center may ultimately prove to be unfeasible from a technical or cost perspective. Consequently, CGL has committed to allocating its volunteer resources in partnership with the town to identify other locations capable of servicing CGL’s needs at such time as development commences on its current site.  

“As a one of a kind community, we are faced with truly unique challenges,” said Scott Robson, Vail town manager. “The Town is fortunate to have dedicated and talented partners in Triumph Development, Vail Resorts and CGL who are willing to work on issues as seemingly disparate as affordable housing and early childhood education, and find a solution that addresses what are ultimately multiple common goals.”

Maggie Swonger, CGL executive director, has been working closely with Town of Vail to ensure a win-win with all parties involved. “For nearly 30 years Children’s Garden of Learning and its predecessors have provided high quality, outdoor-based early childhood education experiences to local families. It is a valuable asset to employers and residents of our beautiful mountain town. We are excited to continue to serve the Vail community and partner with the town to ensure that Vail is a place where all children and families thrive.”

For more information, contact Robson at srobson@vailgov.com or Swonger at mswonger@childrensgarden-vail.com.

 

 

 

 

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